The Supreme Court disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding public office in a decision on the Panama Papers case on July 28. Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan announced that the larger bench had unanimously deemed PM Sharif unfit for holding office and would also order an accountability court to open references against him and his family, and other respondents.
Shortly after the order, the PM House issued a notification saying that Nawaz Sharif, despite having “strong reservations” on the SC’s verdict, had stepped down from his post as the premier.
From the past one and half year, we have seen a spectacle by different sections of the Pakistani ruling class going on after the revelations of the PANAMA papers. The case was extensively heard with the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and a JIT (Joint Investigation Team) was also formed, based on the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the Military Intelligence (MI), the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Nawaz Sharif and his party leaders were consistently pointing out the aggressive and biased behavior of the JIT towards Nawaz Sharif and his family, in the media as well as in their public events.
‘Lifetime Disqualified for being dishonest’
The Supreme Court ruled in its decision that “The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) shall issue a notification disqualifying Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif from being a member of the Parliament with immediate effect, after which he shall cease to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan,” Judge Khan told the packed courtroom on Friday afternoon.
The judges ruled that Nawaz had been dishonest to the parliament and the courts in not disclosing his employment for the Dubai-based Capital FZE company in his 2013 nomination papers, and thus, could not be deemed fit for office.
“It is hereby declared that having failed to disclose his un-withdrawn receivables constituting assets from Capital FZE Jebel Ali, UAE in his nomination papers filed for the General Elections held in 2013 in terms of Section 12(2)(f) of the Representation of the People Act, 1976 (ROPA), and having furnished a false declaration under solemn affirmation respondent No. 1 Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is not honest in terms of Section 99(f) of ROPA and Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 and therefore he is disqualified to be a Member of the Parliament.”
The Supreme Court referred the Panama case to the Accountability Court for trial, because of the limitations of the Supreme Courts’ jurisdictions.
The decision is biased
Everybody knows very well that all the leaders of the mainstream political parties are industrialists, feudals, land mafias and peers etc. All are tax evaders, they get their banks loans written off using their political influence; they made money using every possible means. So why is only Nawaz Sharif disqualified for not being honest?
According to the Supreme Court’s judgment, Nawaz Sharif was disqualified for having IQAMA from the UAE from his sons’ company and he did not receive the salaries which became assets of Nawaz Sharif automatically. However, he did not declare this in his assets on the nomination form for the elections in 2013.
In the history of Pakistani politics, no Prime Minister has completed a full 5 year term in 70 years since the state was founded. These are some of the hard facts of the Pakistani State and politics from the very beginning – the establishment ruled the Pakistani state indirectly, and sometimes directly, through imposing Martial Laws.
What is to be done?
Hence, all the ruling class parties and their leadership are of the same character, they are pursuing their class based goals through political power, and all of three mainstream political parties including the PTI, PML-N and PPP have no fundamental differences in their policies and actions. So the working class, the poor masses and the middle class have no representation on the political plane. It is time to build a party with a clear program to address the basic issues they are facing in their daily lives.